OSHA Levies Penalties in Fatal Texas Crane Collapse

Six serious violations have been assessed against Harrison Hoist Inc. of Grand Prairie, Texas, in connection with the collapse of part of a tower crane at a University of Texas at Dallas campus in July.

OSHA announced it has cited Harrison Hoist Inc. of Grand Prairie, Texas for six alleged serious safety violations involved in a tower crane collapse at the University of Texas at Dallas' Richardson campus in July 2012. Two workers who were trying to remove the top portion of the crane's mast were killed when it collapsed, causing them to fall more than 150 feet, according to the news release from OSHA’s Region 6.

The alleged violations include failing to address the hazards associated with the effects of wind speed and weather on the equipment, ensure that procedures for disassembling the tower crane prevented a collapse, adequately support and stabilize all parts of the equipment, ensure workers were positioned so as to minimize their exposure to unintended movement or collapse, ensure that disassembly procedures were developed by a qualified person, and train each competent person and each qualified person on the requirements of 29 CFR 1926 Subpart CC, Cranes and Derricks in Construction, according to the release.

"It is imperative for employers to have procedures in place, train workers and otherwise adhere to safe work practices regarding crane use in order to protect workers who disassemble cranes," said Stephen Boyd, OSHA's Dallas Area Office director.

Another Region 6 office, the Houston South Office, is involved in another enforcement case that includes nine serious safety violations assessed against ProMaxima Manufacturing Ltd. in Houston, mainly for inadequately guarded machinery. Proposed penalties total $47,700. The office opened an inspection in response to a referral from the Labor Department's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs; the news release says ProMaxima manufactures fitness equipment for various federal agencies.

The alleged violations include failing to properly guard machinery such as saws and grinders, provide lockout/tagout procedures for machines' energy sources, properly store gas cylinders, keep electrical equipment free and clear of obstacles, and train and certify forklift operators. "The employer exposed workers to amputations as well as fire and electrical hazards," said Mark Briggs, director of OSHA's Houston South office. "It is the responsibility of the employer to provide a safe and healthful environment for workers."

ProMaxima Manufacturing employs about 200 workers.

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